To direct hospital CIOs through the complex challenges of health information exchanges, the College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME) and the eHealth Initiative (eHI) have released "The HIE Guide for CIOs." The publication of this book, and some of its content, suggest that health IT leaders expect communitywide HIEs--not enterprise-wide HIEs--to become the standard for information exchange in coming years.
The book acknowledges that formal exchanges that go beyond enterprises and their affiliated providers do not yet exist in most areas of the country. In fact, it cites a KLAS survey from earlier this year that found that private HIEs were growing faster than public ones. "Thus, enterprise wide HIE may be a logical first step for some organizations that face issues of timing, control, risk concerns and solution availability," the guide says.
One major reason for CIOs to become knowledgeable about health information exchange, the book says, is that it is a Meaningful Use requirement. In Stage 1 of Meaningful Use, hospitals and eligible professionals need only test their ability to exchange data. But CHIME expects more HIE criteria to be added in stages 2 and 3.
CHIME members with HIE experience contributed much of the book's content. In addition, the eHealth Initiative contributed some of the material.
Among the topics covered are the following:
- Assessing the local landscape for HIE
- Considerations in forming an Enterprise Health Information Organization
- Selecting an external Health Information Organization
- Technical requirements for HIE
- Assessing service offerings
- Ensuring privacy and confidentiality
- National HIE initiatives
CHIME and eHI recommend that CIOs get in touch with the point person for their state's HIE initiative. A list of the state contacts is available at CHIME's StateNet.
To learn more:
- read the press release
- check out the HIE book